Gravity Doesn’t Take a Coffee Break!

FIXFAST Saves Lives

FIXFAST Saves Lives

There is no denying that the rooftop is a hazardous environment. All too often we find companies sending their employees onto the rooftop on a daily basis, despite adverse weather conditions, with no fall protection in place whatsoever.

The new OSHA Walking-Working Surface 1910 regulations went into effect on January 17th, 2017. This new standard specifically impacts the general industry and covers a wide variety of topics. One topic that this standard addresses is distance when working on a low-sloped roof. (Please note that this standard applies to the general industry, and is not specific to construction workers, roofers etc. unless the application is covered by 1910 regulations).

The 1910.28 standard in brief:

  • When work is performed less than 6ft from the roof edge, the employer must ensure each employee is protected from falling by using a conventional form of fall protection such as guardrails, a fall restraint system or fall arrest system.
  • When work is performed at least 6ft but less than 15ft from the roof edge, the employer must ensure each employee is protected from falling by using a conventional form of fall protection such as guardrails, a fall restraint system or fall arrest system. The employer may use a designated area when performing work that is both infrequent and temporary.
  • When work is performed 15ft or more from the roof edge, the employer must ensure each employee is protected from falling by using a conventional form of fall protection such as guardrails, a fall restraint system or fall arrest system. The employer is not required to provide fall protection, provided the work is both infrequent and temporary.

There is a reason the two words ‘infrequent’ and ‘temporary’ are underlined. These two words can lead to misunderstanding and confusion in the industry. What is considered ‘infrequent’ and when is work considered ‘temporary’?

Regardless of the size of the repair or task at hand and whether it is infrequent or temporary, gravity doesn’t take a coffee break! How often have we heard or said the following:

“It will only take a couple of minutes”

Don’t take the shortcut when it comes to safety. These words could be a loved one’s last words.

Take a couple of minutes to check your roof fall protection policy and help support our vision: To ensure all those working at heights all return home safely. Contact us today if you need help ensuring proper roof fall protection.

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